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In most churches, we distinguish between the laity and the clergy. The clergy are the ministers, while the laity are the objects of their ministry. Lighthouse Baptist Church doesn't make that distinction. We believe every member is a minister. Where do we get that belief? I'm glad you asked. We get it from the Bible.

The Greek word for laity is laikoi. Clement, an early Church Father, uses it in the following context: "And indeed he entirely approves of the man who is husband of one wife, whether he be presbyter, deacon, or layman, if he conducts his marriage unblamably." (Italics added.) But the New Testament never uses the word.

The Holy Spirit guided the authors of the New Testament to use the inclusive word laos rather than the exclusive word laikoi. Laos, which means "the people of God" is the Biblical word used to refer to the masses in the New Testament Church. "Laos = the Christian Community . . . specific national sense for the Christian Community."

This word is not a synonym for the English term "lay person." It does not contrast the clergy (qualified) with the laymen (unqualified). Rather, it is an inclusive term denoting the Christian community.

All believers are part of the laos, and all church members are ministers. The distinction is the responsibility pastors have to equip the other ministers.

Ephesians 4:11-12 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; [12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."

Read the sermon that corresponds to this devotional.

For more information on the Ministry of the Laity, Read The Boomerang Mandate by Jim Wilson & Tom Stringfellow.


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